Wow, I had hoped this topic would touch a lot of hearts, but I’m amazed at how many people are reading the post. Over 5,000 views in less than 36 hours is really encouraging! It affirms to me that lots of people care deeply about helping the children most in need – but maybe they don’t know where to begin, or how to get past their fears.
If you didn’t get to read the comments in Part 1 yet, I really think you’ll want to. There are some thought-provoking, insightful and challenging comments and I learned a lot from them. I’ve gotten several comments on Facebook, too, and I’m trying to get people to move them over to join our conversation. The comments section is more than feedback- it’s where the blog post really becomes a discussion and not just my opinion. I’m certainly no expert, but I do believe we all have little bits of “expertise” in our experiences that we can share.** Several related topics people brought up are really close to my heart. Someday soon I want to talk about the tragic phenomenon of international baby trade and other hard topics, such as when adoption is the answer and when it isn’t. We in the international adoption community have to talk — and do — more to promote family preservation within the countries and communities from which we adopt. We have to acknowledge that international adoption is not going to solve the orphan crisis and we MUST come together to figure out ways to ensure the next generation of children has far fewer orphans than this one. For now, though, this series has been defined as a discussion specifically about waiting children whose time is running out. I really feel the need to proceed all the way through our targeted issues before tackling some of these others. **
To continue the discussion, we’ll address some of the reasons people give for not being able or willing to adopt – specifically the reasons people give for not being able to adopt an older or special needs child.
I recently asked my Facebook friends: What are the top reasons you or people you know give for not being willing/able to adopt a child with special needs or adopt older (5+) children?
This question led to a long list of really interesting replies. I’m not going to post them all here but I wanted to share the most common reasons given.
1. Financial concerns (the cost of adopting and possible ongoing costs for a child with SN.)
2. Older children may have been abused and in turn might abuse other children in the home.
3. SN children will hinder your current lifestyle/life.
4. Could be detrimental or not fair to current children.
5. Reactive Attachment Disorder
6. Not having the time or energy to properly care for a SN child.
7. No experience with SN or raising older children.
8. Fear of the child never being independent as an adult.
9. Keeping birth order.
10. Family members not accepting an older or SN child.
What reasons/fears/obstacles can you add to this list?
Are or were these concerns of yours? What was your biggest concern?
If you have adopted, how did you overcome these obstacles?
In the next post, we’ll talk about what most people listed as their primary concern with adoption: finances.
Thanks so much for your input and consideration. Let’s keep the dialogue going and continue to educate ourselves and each other. I really believe that by working together we can help many precious children find forever families.